Every insurance claim is different, but some common fraternal claims come up more often than others. For local councils, general liability claims, property damage claims and liquor liability claims come up over and over. Your local council is at a higher risk from these common claims, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re fully covered and take the right steps to minimize your chance of a claim.

General Liability Claims

General liability claims are common fraternal claims that can happen when you least expect it. General liability claims often involve accidents, injuries or damages to the property of third parties.

Such as when someone at the local council:

  • Has a slip-and-fall injury due to a wet floor
  • Ends up with car damage in the parking lot from a storm
  • Becomes ill from a meal served at a local council event
  • Get injured operating local council equipment
  • Falls off a ladder or step stool

To help avoid accidents and minimize your local council’s risk of a general liability claim, pay attention to:

  • Exit signs
  • Fire alarms
  • Fire extinguishers
  • First aid supplies
  • Emergency lights
  • Safety signage

Accidents and injuries are lower at facilities that take safety signage and equipment seriously. If accidents or injuries do occur, these precautions can help you reduce severity and the risk of a claim or legal action.

Property Damage Claims

Property damage claims are another common fraternal claim that can impact every part of the operations of your local council. These claims involve damage or loss of your local council building or its contents. Local councils can suffer property damage claims due to accidents and mistakes by local council employees and members, as well as actions by outside third parties or weather events.

For example:

  • An employee forgets to lock up leading to a burglary
  • A member drops a cigarette which causes a fire
  • An old tree falls through the roof in high winds
  • An improper repair leads to building water damage

To help avoid property damage claims, pay attention to:

  • Security—Many thefts can be prevented by closing and locking windows and doors, installing security cameras or systems, locking up tools, equipment and alcohol, and being careful about cash and valuables.
  • Safety—The risk of accidents that lead to property damage can be reduced with signage about fire safety, proper equipment operation, lock-up procedures and security system protection.
  • Maintenance—Proper maintenance can prevent many problems that lead to greater property damage, including electrical, plumbing, HVAC and facility upkeep.
  • Procedures—The risk of mistakes being made that lead to damage or loss is lowered when everyone at the local council knows and follows safe practices.

Attention to these areas will improve the safety and enjoyment of the local council while avoiding unnecessary claims.

Liquor Liability Claims

Another common fraternal claim involving local councils are those having to do with liquor liability. These claims can involve the violation of laws or licensing and training requirements, as well as damages cause by a person served alcohol at the local council.

Examples of these types of claims include:

  • The local council is accused of serving alcohol to a minor
  • The local council is accused of serving a visibly intoxicated patron
  • A third party makes a claim for damages caused after a patron left the local council

The consequences of a liquor liability claim can be serious. The local council could face administrative actions, criminal fines, legal fees or court judgements.

To help avoid liquor liability claims, make sure to:

  • Check ID to verify patrons are of legal age
  • Encourage patrons to enjoy alcohol responsibly
  • Encourage patrons to use designated drivers
  • Participate in an alcohol server training program, such as RServing, TIPS or TAM

Training in the correct procedures for serving alcohol is a valuable tool that can help the local council save money, ensure safety and avoid a claim.

Protection from Common Claims

Your local council is vulnerable to common fraternal claims for general liability, property damage and liquor liability. Taking the right precautions can greatly reduce your local council’s risk, but accidents, mistakes and events beyond your control may still occur.

To fully protect your local council, it’s important to have the right insurance protection. Lockton Affinity offers General Liability Insurance, Property Insurance and Liquor Liability Insurance especially designed for the needs of your local councils.